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As part of each UNION programme, participants are encouraged to develop a collaborative learning project; developing an idea through a simple process of action research (seeking transformative change through taking action and doing research, linking the two with critical reflection).

All we ask is that the participants share their learning.

Lauren Saunders and Lora Krasteva (alumni from the UNION 23 programme) proposed a project called Petals. They were planning a project at Pickering Community Orchard in Hull. Their focus on learning for UNION was not about the whole Petals project (which is hopefully still to come this autumn) but about the first bit—the initial planning, the project definition, the go/no-go meeting at the orchard itself. They started with a series of questions:

  • Does this idea have legs
  • How might participatory creativity develop kinship/care with the more-than-human world and motivate climate action
  • How would we like it to be? What do we need to make it happen?
  • What does the Orchard think? Does it feel like the right place?
  • How do we as artists include the Land as an equal partner in decision making?
  • Are we the right people to do this? What roles do we each play?
  • Will we gel? Can we work comfortably together?
  • What can we learn about each other’s access needs?
  • What does the local community already know? Who might we include?
  • Where will the idea go? If at all?

This is the report on what they learnt… (click on the document for a full pdf version)

And have a look at the video shot on the day by Erik Jampa Andersson…

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